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Golden Globe TV Nominations Analysis: Spotlight Shines on Newbie Comedies, Netflix

Golden Globe voters stuck with the tradition of shining the nominations spotlight on a clutch of buzzy new TV series.

Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Showtime’s “SMILF,” USA Network’s “The Sinner,” and NBC’s revival of “Will & Grace” all racked up key nominations that bolster their status as awards contenders.

The nominations haul for the 75th annual Golden Globe kudos was a good one for Netflix, which ranked No. 2 to HBO with nine bids, up from five in 2017. HBO grabbed 12 bids, down from 14, while FX claimed 8 noms, down from nine last year. NBC and Showtime both received five apiece, a gain for both nets (compared to 3 in 2017 for NBC and 1 for Showtime).

HBO’s dozen was paced by “Big Little Lies” with six bids — no surprise given the star power in the limited series toplined by Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman.

Globes voters spread the wealth among Netflix series “The Crown,” “Master of None,” “Stranger Things,” “13 Reasons Why,” “GLOW” and “Ozark.”

Other under-the-radar nominees included the acting bid for Kevin Bacon for Amazon’s “I Love Dick,” Jason Bateman for “Ozark,” and Eric McCormack for “Will & Grace.”

Left off the list this time around was Amazon’s “Transparent” and “Mozart in the Jungle,” both shows that Globes voters were quick to embrace. “Transparent” star Jeffrey Tambor, who has been accused of sexual harassment by co-workers on the show, is also out of the running for lead comedy actor the first time in three years. He won the trophy in 2015, the show’s first year of eligibility.

The comedy series field is almost entirely remade with only ABC’s “Blackish” returning as a repeat nominee from 2017. HBO’s “Veep” is also out of the running for the first time since 2013.

The drama series heat, on the other hand, was a rerun of 2017 with only “Westworld” dropping out (the show is not eligible this year) and Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” stepping in. The reigning Globes champ, “The Crown,” is back in the hunt along with HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” and NBC’s “This Is Us.”

Among comedy series, “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” the just-launched period comedy from “Gilmore Girls” duo of Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino, was recognized, as was star Rachel Brosnahan for lead comedy actress. “Master of None” landed a bid for its second season. “SMILF” grabbed a comedy series slot, and creator-star Frankie Shaw also got a nod for lead comedy actress.

“Will & Grace” rounds out the comedy series race. The show was a frequent nominee during its original 1998-2006 run but it never took home any Globes gold.

The limited series race sets up another starry faceoff between “Big Little Lies” and FX’s “Feud: Bette and Joan.” FX’s “Fargo” is also a contender along with USA Network’s sleeper hit “The Sinner” and SundanceTV’s “Top of the Lake: China Girl.”

The noms for Witherspoon and Kidman for “Big Little Lies” and for “Feud’s” Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange probably cost Moss the chance to be a double nominee for “Top of the Lake” as well as in the lead drama actress race. “The Sinner” star Jessica Biel made the cut in a tough field.

Just like Emmy voters, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association loved “Big Little Lies” so much they bestowed supporting noms on Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, and Alexander Skarsgard.

All told, the major acting categories saw some significant shuffling compared to this year’s crop. Katherine Langford was a surprise pick for drama actress for Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why.” She’s up against formidable competition from Claire Foy (“The Crown,” this year’s winner), Moss (“Handmaid’s Tale”), Caitriona Balfe (“Outlander”), Maggie Gyllenhaal (“The Deuce”).

Freddie Highmore elbowed his way into the drama actor field for his work in ABC’s promising new drama “The Good Doctor.” Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”) and Liev Schreiber (“Ray Donovan”) are repeat nominees. Sterling K. Brown of “This Is Us” and Bateman for “Ozark” joined the fray while this year’s winner, Billy Bob Thornton (“Goliath”), fell out, as did Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”) and Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”).

Comedy-wise, Issa Rae of HBO’s “Insecure” was the only repeat nominee for lead comedy actress. “Better Things” star Pamela Adlon crashed the party for the show’s second season. Alison Brie joined Brosnahan and Shaw as a frosh nominee, for her work in Netflix’s “GLOW.”

“Black-ish” star Anthony Anderson was the only repeat nominee for lead comedy actor. William H. Macy (“Shameless”) and Aziz Ansari (“Master of None”) joined Bacon and McCormack in the funny-man field.

(Pictured: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “SMILF”)

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